Archive for June, 2010

Few Fixes plus Status Blog

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

A couple of things based on user feedback and requests.

Status Blog

With the new OCW Search API, other services are now depending on the main website at But what happens if the main site is down or inaccessible for any reason? How would we communicate what’s going on?

The answer is a new OCW Search Status Blog. This is hosted on a third-party service that is unlikely to go down at the same time as this site. This means it will be an open channel in case anything makes OCW Search inaccessible.

You can always find a link to the Status Blog in the top navigation.

Advanced Search Operators Fixed

Some of the advanced search operators were not working correctly in some queries. This is now fixed and more test cases have been added for checking prior to releasing new code. This update was also applied to the OCW Search API.

As always, if you spot something is broken, please contact us with details of how to reproduce the error and it will get fixed!

MIT Re-indexed, Textbooks Included

Friday, June 18th, 2010

The MIT OCW website was recently restructured, which meant that all the indexed courses on OCW Search pointed to broken URLs. This has now been rectified with a complete re-indexing of all MIT OCW courses.

As part of this re-indexing, I took the opportunity to include the textbooks that MIT also releases. A couple of examples:

Announcing the OCW Search API

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Along with today’s milestone announcement (10 universities providing 11 OCW collections in OCW Search), the other major news is the new OCW Search API.

The API is a way for other programs to access the OCW Search index. The objective of this API is to help spread the use of OpenCourseWare by enabling other developers to integrate OpenCourseWare searching capability into their apps. My hope is to spur the development of mobile and web apps in particular as I see them as a big opportunity in open education.

The API is very easy to use and gives full access to all of OCW Search’s advanced search capabilities.

Full technical details and the developers’ mailing list at the OCW Search API home page.

Major Milestone: 10 University OCW Collections

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Just now, the live OCW Search index contains 11 OCW collections from 10 different universities. The 10 universities are:

  1. School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins (institution:jhsph)
  2. MIT (institution:mit)
  3. Notre Dame (institution:nd)
  4. The Open University UK (institution: openuniversity)
  5. Universidad Polit├ęcnica de Madrid (institution:politecnicamadrid), Spanish courses
  6. Stanford Engineering Everywhere (institution:stanford)
  7. Delft University of Technology (institution:tudelft), English and Dutch courses
  8. UMass Boston (institution:umass)
  9. The University of Tokyo (institution:utokyo), both English and Japanese OCW collections
  10. Yale University (institution:yale)

In total, the number of courses in the index is over 2600 now.

All of these course are available through the OCW Search API, which is announced in this blog post.